Authoritative parenting is widely regarded as the most effective and beneficial parenting style for normal children. Authoritative parents are easy to recognize, as they are marked by the high expectations that they have of their children, but temper these expectations with understanding a support for their children as well. This type of parenting creates the healthiest environment for a growing child, and helps to foster a productive relationship between parent and child.
How to recognize if you are an authoritative parent:
- Does your child’s day have structure to it, such as a planned bedtime and understood household rules?
- Are there consequences for disrupting this structure or breaking the household rules?
- Does your child understand the expectations that you have for their behavior, and are these expectations reasonable?
- Do you have a healthy and open line of communication with your child? That is, does your child feel that they can speak to you about anything without fear of negative consequence or harsh judgment?
The traits described in the above questions mark a healthy household with an authoritative parent. Of course, parenting styles will naturally need to differ in order to accommodate different children, and you may find that this style does not work for you if your child has behavioral problems or other traits you have difficulty handling. In this case, it is best to adjust your parenting appropriately, and to seek out help from a licensed therapist if you feel overwhelmed.
One of the most important traits to emulate in the authoritative parenting style is the open communication style with the child. If a parent can foster the ability to speak to their child without judgment or reprimand, they will be more likely to have insight into the child’s life and understanding, providing the child with a deeper understanding of the world around them.